Getting a new car in Switzerland just became as easy as streaming a movie

What does getting a new car and streaming a film have in common? Well, quite a lot actually. A new car subscription rental service is shaking up the market in Switzerland with its innovative approach to accessing your vehicle. Find out about the revolution and why it may be the perfect solution for you.

Getting a new car in Switzerland just became as easy as streaming a movie
Photo: Carvolution founder Léa Miggiano

When was the last time you bought a DVD? Chances are it was a while ago given that streaming platforms provide (almost) everything you need with just a click. In much the same way, the attitude to car ownership has changed, especially for expats who are new to a country.

Swiss startup Carvolution spotted a gap in the market and has been a hit with customers since launching in March 2018. Carvolution takes care of everything such as registration, taxes, insurance, etc. All customers have to do is pay for refuelling once they sign up for a monthly subscription.

Click here to get your discount code

Photo: Carvolution founders

“We created a simple and convenient way of getting a new car,” Léa Miggiano, co-founder and head of marketing at Carvolution, tells The Local.

“Expats, who come to Switzerland, are not familiar with the system and all the processes and there can be a lot of bureaucracy. Getting a car on the road can be a complicated process so we are making things easier with our approach,” she says.

Making things easy

That approach is a digital all-in-one solution for your car. For a fixed monthly fee, customers can get access to a vehicle. Carvolution offers a wide range of brands from manufacturers such as Mercedes, Ford and Volkswagen. Similar to your streaming experience, your choice is not a permanent one. You don't like your car? Get another one.  With the app, you easily switch every six months without any extra fees and for example replace a Suzuki Swift with a Mini Cooper.

Sign up to Carvolution and get a CHF 390.- discount on a car subscription






A post shared by Carvolution ? (@the_carvolution) on Sep 7, 2018 at 9:32am PDT

Why Carvolution is right for expats

  • No bureaucracy or complicated insurance forms. You only pay for the fuel with your monthly subscription – Carvolution takes care of the rest

  • No long-term commitment or down payment. You can return your car with 30 days’ notice

  • Switch cars with ease with a great range of vehicles to choose from

  • The subscription for a small car starts at 399 CHF a month – real value for money

  • Customer service – Carvolution will meet you at the airport with your new car or deliver it to your home

With monthly prices starting from 399 CHF, Carvolution provides brand new or current model cars in mint condition. As well as taking care of registration, taxes and insurance, the subscription also covers home delivery, tyre change, services and maintenance. They will even meet you at the airport, with your new car in tow, when you move to Switzerland!

“We try to have the service to be as close to having your own car but also with flexibility. For example, you can switch cars after six months. Many of our customers want to have an SUV in winter, and you can return the car at any time with 30 days’ notice,” says Miggiano.

Family friendly

For many expats, the prospect of moving to a new country can be daunting. You might not be sure how long you will remain in your newly adopted country, and you have to factor in how your family will adapt.

With Carvolution there is no need to sign up for life. After a minimum period of three months, you can cancel your subscription at any time. Of course, you can choose to keep your car for as long as you want and for those who ‘fall in love’ with their car, there is even the opportunity to buy the vehicle.






A post shared by Carvolution ? (@the_carvolution) on Jul 13, 2018 at 9:05am PDT

With a monthly subscription, no time commitment and a range of choice, it is no wonder that Carvolution has been compared to a streaming service.

“We are a bit like the Netflix or Spotify for cars. People don’t buy DVDs or CDs anymore and we are moving away from traditional car ownership. This is a simple and convenient service for everyone and especially expats,” concludes Miggiano.

In collaboration with The Local, Carvolution offers all expats who subscribe to a car a CHF 390.- discount. Simply get your voucher code on the Carvolution website.

This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by Carvolution.

For members


Reader question: Can I take the Swiss driving test in English?

There are quite a few things to learn and remember when taking an exam for a driver’s licence, and it's even more daunting in a foreign language. These are the rules in Switzerland.

Reader question: Can I take the Swiss driving test in English?

Whether you’re learning to drive in Switzerland or already have a licence from your home country but have to exchange it for a Swiss one (as you must do after 12 months of residency), you will have to take a test — certainly in the former case and likely in the latter one.

The rule is that if your licence was issued by a EU or EFTA country (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), you’ll be able to get a Swiss licence without having to take a driving test.

READ MORE: How to change over to a Swiss driver’s licence

This also generally applies to countries with which Switzerland has concluded an agreement to mutually recognise each others’ licences: Andorra, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Morocco,  Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, Singapore, Taiwan, Tunisia, and the United States.

Nationals of all other countries — that is, whose foreign driver’s licences can’t be automatically exchanged for a Swiss one — will have to take a test.

What you should know:

The Swiss driving test includes a written exam and a practical road test. There is no such thing as a national test, with each canton administering tests and issuing licences (which, of course, are then valid across the country).

Applications for the theory and the practical exams are made at your local Road Traffic Office (Strassenverkehrsamt in German, Office Cantonal des Automobiles et de la Navigation in French, and Servizio della circolazione e della navigazione in Italian). 

Addresses and contact information for each cantonal office can be found here.

Can you take the test in English?

In most cantons, theory exams are given in one of the national languages (German, French and Italian). Only a few — Bern, Glarus, Solothurn, St. Gallen, Thurgau, Neuchâtel, Schwyz, Vaud and Zurich — offer the theory test in English.

If you don’t live in one of these nine cantons and you are not fluent enough in German/French/Italian to take the test, a translator may be present, but only one who is certified by your local Road Traffic Office. Contact the department to ask where and how to find a suitable interpreter.

As for the practical driving test, you can request an English-speaking examiner, but there is no guarantee that you’ll get one.

EXPLAINED: How visitors to Switzerland can avoid driving penalties

At the very least, you should learn basic driving terms — such as right and left turns, lane change, parking instructions, etc. — in the local language.

These will be taught to you if you take your driving lessons in German, French, or Italian (rather than English), which may prove more difficult to begin with, but will prove useful when the time comes to pass your exams.